Identification of bursts in spike trains

J Neurosci Methods. 1992 Jan;41(1):19-30. doi: 10.1016/0165-0270(92)90120-3.


A computer algorithm to identify 'bursts' in trains of spikes is described. The algorithm works by constructing a histogram of interspike intervals, then analyzing the histogram to detect the critical interval value in the distribution that represents the break between short intervals within a burst and the longer intervals between bursts. When such a value is found, it is used as the 'threshold' to determine those intervals in the spike train that lie within a burst and those that lie between bursts and, thereby, to identify the beginning and end of each burst in the train. The validity of the bursts is evaluated with a chi-square test. The performance of the algorithm and how it can be assessed is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Animals
  • Electromyography / instrumentation*
  • Muscles / innervation
  • Muscles / physiology
  • Periplaneta / physiology*